Complex Water Effects at Interactive Frame Rates

Jörn Loviscach
Hochschule Bremen
Fachbereich Elektrotechnik und Informatik
28199 Bremen



Keywords: water waves, Kelvin waves, caustics, refraction, Fresnel effect, accumulation buffer


Due to the complexity of the effects, it is difficult to achieve photorealism and physically correct motion in interactive 3-D simulations of water. We present a simulation and visualization method which goes a long way towards physical reality, e.g. by producing Kelvin ship waves and displaying images of real caustics on the water surface. Using efficient approximations and employing the special 3-D and processor features of modern PCs, this simulation runs at rates of several frames per second. Part of the solution is the emulation of a hardware accumulation buffer on consumer 3-D graphics cards with help of texture shaders.